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How to Backup Ubuntu Server 8.10

Trevor Helps
Trevor Helps asked
We have a dedicated server running Ubuntu 8.10 hosted off-site.

Its running VMWare server 2 which in turn hosts 2 windows servers.  
I back up the vmware folders to offsite storage using WinSCP to connect to the server.

My question is what should I backup from the Ubuntu server itself.  I.E. its entire configuration. If I lose this server I would need to recover it quickly from a base server at the host provider location.  I am only familiar with backing up and restoring Windows servers.  What do I need to backup on ubuntu to capture all settings and installed applications?  Can I restore a server and its apps?  Or would I have to re-install VMWare for example following a restore?

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In addition to backing up your VM files.

Ideally you would have your host backup the entire partition.
You can just TAR (compress) all files to an archive. Exclude the VM-ware host files since you already have those in another backup.
Before you can really  back up the Ubuntu server, you will need to define the type of backup media/medium that is available to you.

As TobiaHolm said, the very basic one is to tar the configuration somewhere while in case you store the backup files on the Ubuntu server, you still have risk of losing those content all together with the backup by disk corruption.

So the best way would be to grab a tape drive/library for that. With the tape drive/library, you can simply backup the whole Ubuntu partition by using the tar command.

Of if you would like a full feature backup software, you can try bacula which is a full feature backup software that support encrypted backup, full, incremental as well as differential backup, etc and the most important point is it is free.